AUTUMN SPICE BUNDT CAKE/ Covid Wary



How is everyone out there? I know, I know. Covid-wary. It’s been a long stretch this pandemic of 2020 and way too many have lost loved ones. I think and pray for all going through such unbelievable loss and grief. For this, there are no words to ease your pain. Please know that you are not alone and the entire country grieves with you. My thoughts are also with our dedicated medical professionals (angels really) providing aid in the most difficult of times. Let’s hang onto the hope that there will be better days ahead and a return to normalcy. In the meantime, please stay safe, be wise and protect yourselves and those around you. 


Finally, I’ve kept my promise to post the Spice Bundt Cake which is paired with the Pecan Sour Cream Cake which I wrote about here. These two coffee cakes were Mom’s favorite for guests or when visiting family. This cake is subtle in spice with a light texture, enhanced with a morsel of pecan in each forkful. A spice cake seems perfect for autumn but I make this cake year-round, as it’s too delicious to save for one season.

[My Cookie Clinic will not be available after December 31, 2020. For anyone, who would like a copy of my e-book containing the 35+ recipes listed under the Recipes tab, send an email to mycookieclinic@gmail.com.] 

Autumn Spice Bundt Cake
1 tbsp Vinegar
1 cup Milk
1½ cups Sugar
1 cup Cooking Corn Oil
3 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla
2 cups Flour
3 tsp Baking Powder
½ tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Cinnamon
¼ tsp Ground Cloves
½ cup Pecans, chopped

Grease and flour a bundt pan.
In a separate bowl,combine Vinegar and enough Milk to make 1 cup. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, sift Flour, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Cinnamon and Cloves. Set aside.
Mix Sugar and Cooking Oil. Add Eggs and Vanilla.
Add flour mixture alternating with sour milk. Add pecans.
Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.

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WONKY ROSE COOKIES/ Salted vs. Unsalted Butter



Butter is an ingredient in every cookie recipe. It was customary to list butter or margarine as a main ingredient. Recently, I’ve noticed margarine is omitted and recipes specify unsalted butter. Why is that? Possibly, we have become more conscientious of having too much sodium in our diet, although all processed food contains salt and lots of it. Cookie recipes call for salt as an ingredient usually in a small amount such as one-half teaspoon. The Nestle Original Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe on the back of Nestles Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels, removed shortening as an ingredient years ago. This is discussed in my Chocolate Chip Cookie post here

Back to the subject of butter. So is there a difference between baking with salted butter and unsalted butter in a cookie recipe? I conducted an experiment last Christmas baking many dozens and varieties of holiday cookies using only unsalted butter. Well, there is a distinct difference in my opinion … taste! Even though salt was an ingredient in each recipe, the cookies lacked some flavor when baked with unsalted butter. Even though there is no salt taste, it enhances the overall flavor of the cookie. When it comes down to it salted vs. unsalted is a personal choice, but this baker will always use salted butter.

This rose cookie is a whimsical design, easy and fun cookie to decorate. Come see the process.

[My Cookie Clinic will not be available after December 31, 2020. For anyone, who would like a copy of my e-book containing the 35+ recipes listed under the Recipes tab, send an email to mycookieclinic@gmail.com] 


Wonky Rose Cookies
Wonky Rose Shortbread Cookies
Royal Icing for outlining and flooding tinted Purple with AmeriColor Electric Purple, AmeriColor Fushcia, Wilton Pink
Royal Icing for outlining and flooding tinted Yellow with AmeriColor Lemon Yellow and AmeriColor Egg Yellow
Royal Icing for outlining and flooding tinted Green with AmeriColor Lemon Yellow and AmeriColor Leaf Green
Disposable piping bags & couplers
Squeeze bottles
Wilton Decorating Tip #2
PME Decorating Tip #1.5
[Design inspired by Callye’s Easy Rose Cookies at Sweet Sugarbelle]

Outline with #2 tip in purple icing.

Flood with purple icing. Let dry 30 minutes.

Add detail to cookie with #1.5 tip in purple icing.
Outline and flood leaf with #2 tip in green icing. Let dry 10 minutes. 
Add leaf detail with #2 trip in green icing. Let dry overnight.

Decorate some cookies in yellow icing.




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MINI CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFINS/ Kiddie's Favorite


 
I’ve baked lots of goodies for my nephews over the years, mostly sending goodie packages during their college days. They still love the sweets and nowadays it’s fun to bake for their kiddies too. Usually, it’s decorated cookies for birthday parties or a sweet treat for school birthday celebrations. For his 5th birthday with his pre-K classmates, one of my twin nephews requested Mini Chocolate Chip Muffins like the Entenmann’s Little Bites. There are several varieties which fit perfectly into little hands and they are the rage with the young set.

So I had to see what the excitement was about. I searched the Internet and found a recipe that touted to be the same as the Little Bites and went with that one. When I tasted a muffin, it was bland and seemed to be missing something. So I came up with my own recipe which is a compilation of several on the internet. Simply by increasing the amount of sugar and adding brown sugar, it brought out more flavor. (If you’re wondering, his twin’s choice was the same as their big brother ... M&M Cookies, both choices a winner)

Mini Chocolate Chip Muffins
3 cups flour
cups sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1½ cups mini or regular-sized chocolate chips
½ cup butter (1 stick), melted & cooled
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1½ cups milk
2 tsp vanilla 


Grease muffin tins or fill with paper liners.
Stir together flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Add chocolate chips. Set aside.
Whisk butter, oil, eggs, milk and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
Stir just until everything is moistened and combined. Be careful not to over-stir. Pour into muffin tins to 7/8 full.
Bake at 375 degrees for 12-16 minutes for mini-muffins; 15-18 minutes for regular muffins. 
These muffins do not brown. Makes 60 minis and 20-24 regular muffins.
[This recipe is a variation of several recipes found on the Internet]




Regular Size Muffins

 Tip:  After filling the tin, before baking sprinkle chips on top.

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GOODBYE SOON!


All good things must come to an end. For the last year, I’ve given a lot of thought about whether I would continue the blog beyond 2020. After nearly 250 blog posts and 8 years of blogging, having begun this endeavor in January 2013, I have come to the decision that this will be my last year doing My Cookie Clinic.

The blog takes a lot of time and I’ve calculated it is a 15-17 hour process to create each blog post. There is prep time which begins with making the cookie dough, rolling it out,  cutting the shapes, baking time, mixing the royal icing, coloring and preparing icing. All that takes place before the decorating process begins. Then, each step is photographed as well as glamour shots of the finished cookies. Let’s not forget cleanup. It’s amazing how many bowls, spatulas, spoons, piping tips and bags are used and what a mess I can make! Next, is the blog post. I spend a lot of time composing and editing the anecdotes. The decorating instructions take little time but it is the photography that bogs me down. I take nearly 100 photos for each project and it takes hours to choose, edit and beautify them.

You can probably tell from my infrequent online postings that I am not a fan of social media. I only follow bakers and cookie decorators but I feel my time could be better spent. In fact, I think what finally prompted my decision to stop blogging was the quantity of toilet paper cookies and cakes posted on social media during the peak of the global Coronavirus pandemic. I fail to see the humor when people are full of fear and anxiety over their health and livelihood and those of their loved ones.

I have enjoyed working on the blog, meeting other blogging buddies and bringing the anecdotes and tutorials to you. Now I would like to spend time completing the many tasks on my to do list and boating on the Chesapeake Bay with my husband. Then there’s that piece of furniture that needs refinishing. I plan to continue decorating cookies for family and friends, baking cakes and other sweets which have always been a pastime for me.

I will continue to create cookie posts during 2020 and the blog will be online until the end of this calendar year, as well as my Facebook and Instagram pages. If there are any anecdotes, tutorials or recipes you would like to keep, I suggest you make a note of them as My Cookie Clinic and all social media pages (except YouTube) will be removed from the Internet after December. For anyone, who would like a copy of my e-book containing the 35+ recipes listed under the Recipes tab, send an email to mycookieclinic@gmail.com and I will send you a copy. 

To my subscribers and blogging buddies, thank you for your kindness, support and encouragement. It has meant more to me than you will ever know. I truly hope my little blog has inspired you and brought sweetness to your world.
Happy baking!  Joan
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LEMON DRESS COOKIES/ Suffrage



The definition of the word ‘suffrage’ is the right to vote in public, political elections and as you know, the Suffragettes were the women who valiantly fought and marched for the rights of women to get the vote. The 19th Amendment to the Constitution was passed in 1920 and now 100 years later, women voters are greater in numbers than men. We’ve come a long way, baby! It was not easy and it took nearly 70 years. It began with a speech in 1848 at Seneca Falls, New York by Elizabeth Cady Stanton at the first women’s convention. Along with Susan B. Anthony they began a movement. Sadly, neither lived to see their goal come to fruition but generations of women have benefited from their cause. So, ladies it is your duty to cast your vote in all elections; not just the national ones but all state, local and special elections. Something I have proudly done since legally becoming of age to vote. Please, don’t take this right for granted. 




Even though it may not seem like summertime, I thought these Lemon Dress cookies would remind us how cheerful and sunshiny life will be sometime soon. In the meantime, stay safe and healthy.


Lemon Dress Cookies
Dress Shortbread Cookies
Royal Icing for outlining and flooding tinted with AmeriColor Super White
Royal Icing for flooding  tinted yellow with AmeriColor Egg Yellow and AmeriColor Lemon Yellow
Royal Icing for flooding tinted Green with AmeriColor Avocado & AmeriColor Leaf Green
Disposable piping bags & couplers
Squeeze bottles
Wilton Decorating Tip #2, #3
PME Decorating Tip #1.5
Toothpicks or Scribe Tool

Outline cookie with #2 tip in white icing.

Flood cookie with white icing.

Pipe dots with #3 tip in yellow flood icing. Pipe dots with #1.5 tip in green flood icing.

Using scribe tool, pull to create lemon shape. Pull to create leaf shape. Let dry overnight.




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